The human body needs a tiny amount of sodium to function properly and this is typically found in salt (sodium chloride).
But today most people consume way too much salt, increasing the burden of cardiovascular disease around the world.
Health professionals have been trying to tackle this problem for decades, but face several barriers, including research that muddies the water about what safe levels of salt intake are.
This has cast unnecessary doubt on the importance of reducing intakes.
But our latest research has found flaws in these studies and suggests that salt intake should be reduced even further than current recommendations.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that people consume less than 5 grams of salt a day, but global intakes average 10 grams a day.
Excess salt consumption raises blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.
They posit that consuming both less than 7.5 grams and more than 12.5 grams of salt per day could lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and early death.
A gradual reduction in salt intake across the whole population, as recommended by WHO, remains an achievable, affordable, effective and important strategy to prevent cardiovascular diseases and premature death worldwide.
Even a small reduction in salt intake will have an enormous benefit on people's health. The Conversation